US banks were closed on Labor Day Monday so markets were off to a slow start. The US currency did stay supported even with rising tensions with North Korea as the White House issued a statement reiterating that the government has plenty of options on the table. Headlines of another hurricane about to hit the US could keep a lid on equity and dollar gains but today’s set of FOMC speaker could push the currency around.


The euro struggled to stay afloat as data came in mixed. Spain’s unemployment change turned out weaker than expected with a 46.4K increase in joblessness versus the projected 16.3K rise. Meanwhile, the Sentix investor confidence index rose from 27.7 to 28.2 versus the consensus at 27.4. Final services PMI and euro zone retail sales are due today.


The pound staged a sharp selloff around the end of the US session likely due to reports that Norway is investing more in the UK economy, something that investors thought might be the wrong move. UK construction PMI was weaker than expected at 51.1 versus the consensus at 52.1 and the earlier 51.9 figure. Services PMI is due today and a dip from 53.8 to 53.5 is eyed.


The franc was able to chalk up more gains across the board on risk-off flows. There were no reports out of the Swiss economy yesterday while today has GDP and CPI on tap. Analysts expect the economy to have expanded by 0.5% in Q2, stronger than the earlier 0.3% growth figure. CPI is expected to stay flat after previously recording a 0.3% dip.


The yen also raked in gains on risk aversion stemming from renewed tensions with North Korea. There were no major reports out of Japan yesterday while today also has an empty economic calendar, leaving market sentiment to be the main driver of price action.

Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)

The commodity currencies had a mixed run as they were pushed and pulled by market sentiment. Data from Australia was mixed, with company operating profits down 4.5% in Q2 and job advertisements up 2.0% versus the earlier 1.6% gain. Australia also reported a drop in its AIG services index from 51.9 to 51.1. The RBA decision is coming up next but no actual rate changes are expected. New Zealand will have its GDT auction in the next Asian session.

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